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Watch Those Weights


Frank.A
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Hi All,

I am sure that some of you will already have noticed this but I thought that I had better make a point of it. On the What Towcar. com site the towing vehicle weights that are used in the calculations are not true kerbweights. Apart from some of the actual car basic weights being in doubt,the car is then ballasted with a minimum of 100kgs( the default as set is 250kgs)and this is the weight used when working out the towing ratio. Therefore the true ratios are higher than those quoted. Or am I missing something? :)

Frank

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Hi Pete,

The whole point is that adding ballast,whatever it may represent negates the caculation of towing ratio by UK accepted standard, as it is no longer kerbweight,which is what the towing ratio should be derived from. The European standard which we work to for kerbweight is the basic car with 90% tank of fuel plus 75kgs for the driver and 7kgs for luggage. Adding ballast simply makes the towing ratio look better than it is. Bearing in mind that this is a continental website,do caravanners on the continent work to a different standard from us? :unsure::)

Frank

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Hi Frank,

 

Interesting site - not looked at that before. It seems that they are looking mainly at "towability" and not "stability", and for this reason it makes sense to "ballast" the car to something close to reality, in order to assess performance like acclereation, hill starts etc. If you look on the bottom of the "explanation" page there is the following comment

 

Notice: The calculations give no indications to the stability of your outfit!

 

For the benefit of others, stability of the outfit is still determined by the ratio of the actual weight of the caravan compared to the kerb weight of the car and a 85% ratio is recommended for inexperienced towers. You need to look at the stability of the outfit first and the towability second.

 

This guidance has been in existance for some time and is somewhat arbitrary but until something else better comes along it is all we have. The suspension on modern cars is probably much better than on cars that were around when the guidance was first issued.

 

Frank, you may already be aware that on the next generation of Passats, that if you get the VW towbar, it will also come with some electronic stability device. I don't know what it will cost though!

 

Brian

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Hi Brian,

As the website in question is featured in 'Caravan Links',I thought that it was worth pointing out for the very reasons you state that the conclusions made on 'What Towcar' should be viewed with caution, and not taken as an 'all clear' that a particular outfit is suitable, and conforms to UK guidelines. :)

Frank

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Frank

 

A further explanation from Bert (from another forum) who runs the site is here

 

It's advisable to check local kerbweights however, because of differences between EU regulations (Including 75 kg for driver and 15 or 25 for fluids) and license plate (tax) weights in Holland. But we think that's not thát important because most cars are in fact heavier because of all the extras fitted.

 

If you have any particular questions Bert is more than willing to answer them

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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